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GS-II :
  • 05 August, 2019

  • Min Read

Bigger and Better On number of Supreme Court Judges.

GS-II: Bigger and Better On a number of Supreme Court Judges.

Context

The article provides a critical analysis of Union Cabinet’s decision about increasing the strength of the judiciary and suggests for the focus of the Supreme Court on its role as interpreter of the Constitution.

About Supreme Court of India:

  • Inaugurated on January 28, 1950, the Supreme Court of India succeeded the Federal Court of India, which was established under the Government of India Act of 1935.
  • The Constitution of India, under Articles 124 to 147 in Part V deals with the organisation, independence, jurisdiction, powers, procedures and so on of the Supreme Court.
  • The Parliament, through legislation, is authorised for regulating the Supreme Court.

Recent Decision of increasing the number of Judges:

  • A recent written request by the CJI Ranjan Gogoi to the Prime Minister, highlighting the problem of paucity of judges.
  • CJI also reasoned the same for his inability of constituting enough Constitution Benches to decide important questions of law.

Benefits of the move:

  • Supreme Court of India is facing a large pendency of near about 59,331 cases as reported in July 2019.
  • The decision will help in solving this perennial pendency issue.
  • It will help in constituting more Constitutional Benches to decide important questions of law.
  • It will also help in reducing time for the judicial procedures.

Measures to solve the Issue:

  • Preserve the primary role of the Supreme Court for an ultimate arbitration of constitutional questions and statutory interpretation.
  • There should be a proper mechanism and compartmentalisation of questions involving a final decision on routine matters, civil cases involving nothing more than the interest of the parties, so that there will not be any detraction from the Court’s primary role.
  • There should be a reasonable restraint on the duration of oral argu­ments in the Court.
  • Disciplined adherence to a schedule of hearings is needed.
  • Constitution of separate Courts which limits themselves in deciding questions of Constitutional importance as suggested in the 229th Report of the Law Commission.

Conclusion

  • A mere increase in the court’s strength may not be enough to liquidate the burgeoning docket
  • Reasonable restraint on the duration of oral arguments and disciplined adherence to a schedule of hearings may be needed
  • Preserve the apex court’s primary role as the ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions and statutory interpretation. All other questions involving a final decision on routine matters, especially civil cases ought to be considered by a mechanism that will not detract from the court’s primary role
  • 229th Report of the Law Commission suggested a new system under which there will be one Constitution Bench in Delhi, and four ‘Cassation Benches’ for different regions of the country. This may also increase access to justice to those living in far-flung areas of the country

Source: The Hindu


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